FACT CHECK: No, This Image Does Not Show The Uvalde School Shooter Posing With A Transgender Flag
An image shared on Instagram claims to show a photo of the Uvalde, Texas school shooting suspect posing with a transgender flag.
View this post on Instagram
The photo shows a Reddit user who is unaffiliated with the Texas shooting suspect. The user confirmed to Check Your Fact the photo does not show the shooter.
An 18-year-old gunman named Salvador Ramos attacked Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, leaving 19 children and two teachers dead, according to the Associated Press. Ramos was killed by law enforcement officers after barricading himself in a classroom, the outlet reported.
An image shared on Instagram claims to show the shooter wearing a skirt and posing with a transgender flag. “Here’s your Texas shooter,” reads text included in the image. “Not even kidding.” (RELATED: Did CNN Publish This Article About Kellogg’s Making One Of Its Mascots A Trans Woman?)
The photo does not show Ramos. The image first appeared on Reddit April 7 where it was shared by user u/Apprehensive_Ad_995. The account is owned by Sam Palacios, a 20-year-old Georgia resident who identifies as transgender, according to a direct message Palacios sent Check Your Fact. The person pictured in the Instagram photo is Palacios, the account user confirmed to Check Your Fact.
“I’m annoyed I’m being dragged into this, I’m more worried about the families of the victims,” Palacios told Check Your Fact. Palacios claimed users of the anonymous messaging board 4Chan took the photo and spread it on various social media sites while claiming it showed the shooter.
Palacios posted two photos to Reddit shortly after the shooting. The first image shows Palacios posing in front of a transgender flag, while the second image features Palacios holding a handwritten note that reads “May 25, 2022.” Both images appear to show the same person pictured in the Instagram post.
An article from The Washington Post, titled “Before buying rifles, gunman became erratic, violent, friends say,” reports Ramos was bullied to the point where he dropped out of school and that his mental state deteriorated in the months prior to the shooting. The article makes no mention of him being or identifying as transgender.